Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Report: Saliba facing “several weeks” on the sidelines

According to L’Equipe, William Saliba will could be sidelined for a few weeks as a result of the back injury picked up during Thursday’s Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon.

The France international hobbled off after 21 minutes on Thursday night and was replaced by Rob Holding. In his post-game press conference, Mikel Arteta wasn’t able to give an update on the seriousness of the problem but he didn’t sound overly concerned.

The 21-year-old will miss tomorrow’s match with Crystal Palace and has withdrawn from France’s upcoming internationals against Ireland and Holland.

While the Interlull will take the edge off Saliba’s injury, the fact we’re also missing Takehiro Tomiyasu, who also sustained an injury against Sporting and has pulled out of the Japan squad, makes it less likely that Ben White will be asked to renew the partnership he struck up with Gabriel Magalhaes last season.

If White stays at right-back, Rob Holding may well get the chance to deputise. So far this season, he’s played just 13 minutes in the Premier League. The other option is Jakub Kiwior who has made a single appearance in the Europa League since signing from Spezia in January.

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Dang. Hopefully he’s back after the interlulwaste-of-time-break.
I guess Robbie will be holding down the fort? Big game for him, but he’s a pretty solid option to bring in. Kiwior also looks sharp!

Johnny 4 Hats

I thought Holding had a pretty solid game against Sporting. And Palace haven’t scored in about 1000 games. Should be enough to get us through that game at least.


Famous last words


Yes, but we know (or should know) the premier league doesn’t work like that.

Johnny 4 Hats

We do?


So! In the end Holding delivered and your comment aged really well. All 4 hats off to you Johnny.


Rob Holding passes in slow motion and goes on walkabout. He kills our game.

Johnny 4 Hats

But the alternative is either playing left footed Kiwior or completely messing about with the fullbacks.

Holding has played some incredible games for arsenal. If he isn’t good enough to play a below par Palace at home then he shouldn’t be in the squad or at the club.

With Partey in front of the back 2, as apposed to Jorginho, I have faith that Holding can do a good job.

Johnny 4 Hats

Sorry to moan blogs. You do an amazing job.

But about one in three of my comments get moderated. This makes a spirited back-and-fore really difficult and interesting conversations almost impossible.

How many comments really need moderation? 99.9% are surely respectful, clean and pretty vanilla.

Could we not ease up on the mods just a little?

Big love,



I would likely agree Hats, treading this thin ice is a delicate dance… for blogs. He is caught where the more diverse and large his following, the more safe and vanilla he is driven to become. Very tough for an entrepreneur…it reveals a lot as time progresses. Managing that is now his daily task/decision, I wish him well and watch to learn, he is a smart dude.


It’s only some of us

Billy bob

You are fortunate, all mine go into moderation (not that I say anything shocking to warrant it) so I hear your frustration at not being able to interact promptly – you will probably get my reply in a few hours hahahahahaha


Hi, I know this is frustrating, but just to give you some context. Since Arseblog News began, in order to keep things orderly and without the worst excesses of Internet cuntery, we have put into moderation over 1500 usernames, IP addresses, email addresses and so on. It’s very effective, but unfortunately not terribly sophisticated, so partial matches can trigger moderation. This is why it happens to you and others, and I do my best to prevent it, but it’s very difficult. I do apologise and I try to moderate comments as quickly as I can but sometimes it takes a… Read more »


And seriously, if you saw some of the stuff that doesn’t get published, you’d wince. Generally, most comments are decent, but 1% of a LOT is a lot.

We’re nearly at 1,000,000 comments on the site!


Thanks for the explanation blogs. Slightly annoying when it happens for apparently no reason but i definitely see why the system might work like that, definitely would rather you be overly cautious and us decent users occasionally slightly annoyed than the reverse where some seriously offensive comments get published.

Johnny 4 Hats

Thank you so much for the response. We’re really lucky to have a corner of the internet that is free from grimness and that’s a massive credit to you and your team.

I could make a promise not to say anything stupid again. But we all know that would be a lie.

Good luck today everyone! COYG!


Is that all? AFTV have over a billion views!


Mine go into moderation, but I’m cool with that. I understand why. To be fair, I’m a big mouth to put it mildly and, in all honesty, too old school now to change my cockney ways. A lot of what passed for normal on the North Bank – and Society in general – in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s wouldn’t be allowed now and I get that. I have to say Blogs does a fantastic job and he has legalities to consider as well. No mean feat and I don’t envy him. With that in mind, I really ought to… Read more »

Alan Sunderland

didn’t kill it in the cup final when he pocketed Costa.


People either have short memories or simply weren’t born then.


Rh was good in first half recently against Haarland in fa cup.
If Rashford had not giving him the dirty tackle to injury him a few years ago. Rh would be a regular in England squad now IMO , that was a set back injury,but he is getting better

Alan Sunderland

100% we have more than enough to beat palace

Ödegårds Magnifika Fot

Wonder if Lokonga will come back to haunt us… Hopefully not!


He’s not allowed to play against us, he’s a loss for thrm.


won’t be allowed to play against us. EPL rules.

The Far Post

I think Holding will have problems when we are the aggressors, either playing the high line or trying to pass out from the back. He does much better when we are in our defensive shape and protecting the goal. The Sporting match was a perfect example.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Sorry to sound harsh but Holding is not exactly what I would call a ‘solid option’. If we have to go to Anfield and Etihad in April with Holding starting, that’s a problem. Remember the toilet bowl less than a year ago…

I would be tempted to throw Kiwior into the pool for Palace and Leeds to see if he swims or sinks. Apparently a similar player to Saliba anyway in defending attributes and with ball at feet.

Of course he’s left footed so Mikel may stick with the right footed Holding.


Seem to remember him turning up in a few important games and controlling some difficult strikers


I seem to remember him losing his head against Tottenham.

Ellis McPickle

It’s set up either way, so far 2/3 of our winter signings have been home runs, so the stage is set. It’s would also be quite romantic for Rob Holding to step in and see us through…he’s a always been something of a nearly man…looked the part of a modern CB when he came in, but it’s like the game skipped a few levels before he could “be”. So maybe this is his time too. Christ…just anxiously hoping it all works out. Big love gooner family.


Two FA Cup Finals for starters.

Mikels Artetai

He can have a good game. Then there’s some games where he’s always coming off second best

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Yes, credit where it’s due, we won two FA Cups with Holding starting.

But in both matches we were playing with a back 5.

A Different George

And I always think of one of those, for good reason, as the Mertesacker final.


You would risk six points just see if Kiwior sinks or swims….? This is a Premiership title challenge we’re involved in now mate, not a mid table end of season experiment….!! Fuck what happened at the toilet bowl, Holding helped us win two FA Cup Finals when he was asked to deputise for Mustafi. He is clearly the most experienced option we have. Kiwior may yet come good but he ducked out of a challenge like a frightening schoolboy that resulted in a soft goal for Sporting last week. This is no time for “let’s see what happens..” I know… Read more »


Kiwior ducked. If a player shouted leave (and they will know it) he will get first dibs. Otherwise it’s Holding. MA subbed Saliba with Holding and he will do the same unless he wants to change the system. Here’s praying that Saliba recovers asap

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Well I don’t see it as a risk as we should be able to beat Palace and Leeds whether it’s Holding or Kiwior anyway.

The risk is playing Holding at Anfield in 3 weeks.

We don’t know Kiwior’s ceiling but by the sounds of it he has a lot of Saliba’s attributes.

Mikel will probably play Holding tomorrow but we know he has his limitations.


For the first time in ages, I actually agree with you Q! Apart from the bit about ‘frightening schoolboys’.


* Frightened.

(fucking auto correct)

Mayor of the Woolwich

I’m so gutted for Willo.
I wish you quick recovery son. I am sure the boys will hold the fort, just as they did for Gabriel Jesus.

Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!


I might have asked you this before – apologies if I have.

Are you ‘Rip Roar’ who used to stand down the front of the North Bank Highbury in the 80’s and early 90’s….?

🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺


I am

Mayor McCheese

Another mayor here, I see. Good day to you, sir. I raise my tiny top hat in greeting.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

I would rather play Zinky on the right, KT at left back with Ben White with big Gabby. No to Rob starting for me.


That would cause massive impact on the tactical balance that I can’t see it happening. Zinny can do what he does because of Xhaka being on the left. Not sure it would work the same with Zinny on the right…at least not without a lot of practice (which we ain’t got before tomorrow).


Think jorginho could fill that roll on the right to be fair


Nvm cant move odegaard


Respectfully disagree. We should learn our lesson from when we moved Xhaka from midfield to cover Tierney at left back a couple of seasons ago. Ended up weaker in both positions. Zinchenko too important where he is. Rob can hold the fort.

Alberto Balsam Mendez Rodriguez

Playing Zinchenko on the right, would unbalance the entire team and playing style

Zinchenko has never played right-back in his entire career.

11 matches away from winning a league, Mikel is not going to alter players’ positions now.


I suggested this elsewhere, but I think I’d like to see us keep Zinny on the left and go with Tierney on the right. He has played there for Scotland in the past.


I like this idea the best, least amount of tactical fiddling while still using our best 4 available defensive players.

That said I fear Arteta’s recent reluctance to play Tierney means we probably won’t see that. Hope I’m wrong.


Play Tierney at Right back, as he can man mark Zaha, and cut inside when attacking. White can move into the centre.



Rob Holding is the obvious choice to partner Gabriel.

He came in to ‘deputise’ for Mustafi in two FA Cup Finals against Chelsea – and we won them both largely because of it. Thank God…..


Holding played both finals as part of a back three though. Those wins don’t seem reason enough to partner him with Gabriel in our current system.

Alan Sunderland

played as part of a 3 with luiz and Tierney in second one. the 1st was back 4 of bellerin holding mertasaker monreal


No, that’s not true. In 2017 final, it was Holding, BFG, Monreal in a 3 with Bellerin at RWB & Oxlade Chamberlain (bizarrely) at LWB


So who would you put in to partner Gabriel?


So you’d rather put in a Premiership inexperienced youngster rather than a Premiership experienced player for a Premiership Title run in?

Fortunately, Arteta will play Holding.


No, I’d partner Gabriel with White, with Tierney as right back.

Mikels Artetai

We don’t have any options at right back other than White who sturggles for to do 90mins
Could we see a possible back 3?

Merlin’s Panini

It’s Palace. What’s the point in disrupting everything good in front of the defence by playing Emery ball and leaving out the midfield?


Because the Anti Holding Bridge say so.

The small fact that we’re five points clear in March having played four at the back all season is neither here nor there…..


Can we not work Tierney in there somehow? Back 3 of white Gabriel and KT?

Nicklas Kanskar

Place zinchenko at RB, he can walk in too dm from there. Tierney at LB. White in the CB.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

KT at CB? No chance.


KT plays all his football for Scotland currently as CB in a back 3 & won an FA Cup for Arsenal playing there too.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

He plays CB for Scotland as a means to fit both him and Robertson into the same team.

Arteta is not going to suddenly switch formation and go to a back 3 just to fit Tierney into the team when we’re 11 matches away from winning the league.


I know why Scotland play him there…..but he is good at it. I’m not saying we should switch to a back 3, just that if we did, then KT is an obvious choice. Your original comment read as if KT playing there was your issue, rather than the idea of switching to a back 3.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Hopefully he just misses the 1 game.
Please not Holding

Few weeks doesn’t sound good. Anfield is in 3 weeks.


I think the reason this has been reported is probably from the France camp since it usually wouldn’t get leaked from Arsenal. Which to me means the club is aiming to keep him out of the international games, with any luck he’ll miss the Leeds game and be back right after tat.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Possible behind closed doors friendly with Watford or Brentford incoming to get some minutes into Saliba, Jesus, and Smith-Rowe.


Why don’t you give Mustafi a ring?



Gulp. Courage for tomorrow boys 🙏🙏🙏


I wonder if Mikel would consider playing Nelson as RWB and move Ben white to the middle with Gabriel. After the last few outings that Holding has had, playing the high line would be very risky with him….


Saliba didn’t look that badly hurt when he came off on Thursday. This “news” from L’Equipe might be a load of bollocks.


I think it’s probably us managing the situation and ensuring he doesn’t go with France. It’s smart. He was on the bench and looked fine. I reckon he’s back after the international break.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Depends how well L’Equipped they are with their sources.


L’équipe is a very reliable source. But they don’t care that much about premier league. I think they got their news from the french national team, who told them what Arsenal told them, presumably “He’s injured for a few weeks, he won’t be able to join”.


Back injuries can be deceptive.

He’s going to need to rest it up for at least a fortnight.


The thing with Rob Holding (who I like so much as an Arsenal man) is he doesn’t seem to get where the limits of getting physical end. He will pop up with a silly “hardman” foul that previously would be missed but not with VAR these days.
Trying to go hard on Son last season (who is a diving, cheating player) cost us the game against spurs last season despite how anyone tried to defend it. There are other games where he got away with it.


Good point & Zaha is very skilled, especially at falling over with minimal contact.


Zaha is a Twat.

House of goons

Son is a cunt


Something we can all agree with


Strangely somebody doesn’t

Worth pointing out;

First Southampton goal – assist by Walcott.

Second Southampton goal – scored by Walcott.

Third Southampton goal – penalty won by Maitland-Niles.

VAR will solve all the problems

And that interview by Cunte afterwards! I laughed so hard…even their own manager shitting on them…that made my week already.

Conte’s a secret gooner.

A Different George

I swear, I thought he was going to say “it is the history of the Tottenham.”

He did actually. Just not in those same words.


He basically did. If you read between the lines.


Epic rant by Conte


“They are used to not play for anything, this is the story of Tottenham!”


It certainly looks like sp*rs are playing every game like it’s a final.

Crash Fistfight

The Italian for history is storia, so he probably meant history rather than story.


Same thing in their case


Rob Holding can do a Rob Holding job for a Crystal Palace and maybe a couple of games after the Interlull. As Mikel Arteta always said, we’re going to need all our players to achieve what we’re trying to achieve.

El Mintero

Yeah he should be fine for mid-low table opposition.


We are royally f*cked.

Mikels Artetai

Far from it


Ben White back to centre back and Reece Nelson to right back. Who sez no?


Hopefully Mikel Arteta


Yeah. Let’s put Saka in goal as well. 🙄


Holding over Kiwior in the centre, no contest in my opinion.

For me, the jury is still very much out on the new lad, who hardly covered himself in glory away to Sporting Maimers.

Call me old fashioned, but I prefer my centre halves not to duck out of challenges from set pieces – especially when it results in a goal for the opposition.


To be fair, the jury is still out whether he ducked or whether someone else called dibs on the ball.


It was coming straight for him, he should have called himself and cleared it.

Adams was doing that to seasoned internationals, who may have been recovering from injury in the reserves, when he’d barely got out of the youth team himself.

That said, TA was a one off anyway.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Probably an isolated incident, we wouldn’t have signed him if he repeatedly does that.

Which isn’t any worse than Holding being beaten for a header by a seven inches shorter Raheem Sterling.


Thankfully Arteta knows best – and will play Holding instead of Kiwior.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Yep Holding will probably play because he’s right-footed.

If Gabriel had got injured instead of Saliba, then Kiwior would play.



Arteta picks Holding on experience.

Like I said, this is a title run in. You pick your experienced players over kids if they have roughly the same capabilities.

I saw nothing from Kiwior in the Europa to convince me that he’s a better bet than Holding.

Might be one day. But not at the moment.


Nothing official from the club but obviously the French media know more than Arsenal do – if it is the case we have the international break to get him back.

Mikels Artetai

Wil be interesting to see how we like up. Tomiyasu out, Benjamin White struggles to complete a full 90
We’re a little stretched at the back

Mikels Artetai


Highly unlikely, although an option? Saka and Martinelli keep the width as they normally would, Trossard and Jesus more central. Odegaard finds the pockets
I say Tierney over zinchenko for the defensive side of things


If 3at the back then both KT and Zink in, with 3-3-3-1
Partey, Xhaka, Zink
Saka, Ode, Nelli


Why change a formation which offers us the most fluid play because one player may potentially be out?
It’s just one game.
Put Holding in central defence and leave the rest unchanged.
Let Saka and Co win the game for us.


I feel so fortunate to support this team as we watch this unfold. The youngest team, with the youngest manager is leading the EPL with brave bodacious attacking football from a combination of amazing young men from across the world. They have just lost…and recovered…integral important players due to injury. I could detail it on and on….but here is the beautiful reality. I get to watch the decisions unfold from this bold young manager. These talented bold young players get to execute…under the most focused microscope of social media in the new social media age…and I am rooting for them… Read more »




L’Equipe is so trustworthy, Tier 10?


The obvious threats from Palace come from Osile, Eze and in particular Zaha. They’re pacey. They like to get behind the defensive line. If it was just Zaha, I’d go for Big Rob and ask him to do what he did against Haaland in the first half in the cup. If he gets an early booking, then swap him out for Jakub. But the problem is that they have three penetrating forwards, so I’d favour a back three (Big Gab, Jakub & Benny B) with Saka & Zinny as wing backs, both Xhaka & Partey as CMs (not DCMs, though… Read more »


Zaha will spend all afternoon on his arse whining at the ref for nothing.

Der Kaiser

Critical we have Saliba fit for Anfield at the very latest

This team needs its 12th man ( the supporters ) from now on in

Robert Holdeth

We should be sending out positive winning vibes into the ether for Rob. He’s going to start, so why be anything but supportive. Robs got this. Its his time now. Be a chair. Support the arse.


Really hope this is a ruse to keep him out of the international break.


We have 11 cup final games. Perfect for Holding to come in then as he’s a cup final specialist.

Merlin’s Panini

Maybe he has time to sign a contract now?


Holding is a good defender, but has one big defect compared to Saliba – lack of acceleration – which is exacerbated by playing a high press. He is good against big centre forwards posing an aerial challenge, not so good against fast, skilful forwards. Holding and Jorginho are a poor combination as they have the same issue. Holding with Partey in front is less problematic.


Well said, I also expect that the new kid Jacob may be in that same position that Saliba was. Our defense is very challenging to execute. We may have a brilliant young player who we, Arteta, thought was further developed than we now realize he actually is. In our system, while fighting to win the league, his future must be protected from himself…perhaps. I can bet you this…Holding and his teammates, this amazing young team…whoever is selected will work their asses off for each other and perform 100 times better than any of us could or would. COYG!


what about Tierney on CB


What about Ramsdale up front? 🙄


Jorginho has played at CB pretty well before

Giuseppe Hovno

I once saw Odegaard play well as a CB in a Sainsbury’s carpark

karl g

Rob Holding, or Jakob Kiwior is the only sensible solution here. If you cannot call on central defenders when you need them, what are they in the squad for?

Hopefully it might only be the one match with a welcome (for a change) international break.


Can’t we play white at cb and the zinchenko on the right and Tierney on the left? Zinchenko plays all over the pitch anyway. Sometimes he’s on the right flank.

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